JP Honk: How to Be Coordinator/Contact (Cindy) for a Gig
[Suggested “Best Practices”]
The main goal is good communication!
- Between you and the event organizer
- Between you and the band
Be unfailingly positive and enthusiastic when interacting with the organizer
- Thank them for the opportunity
- Figure out (often a good idea to just ask them) what kind of communication channel (phone conversation, in-person visit, email) works best for them and try to use that as much as possible
Post the event at Gig-O as soon as you can, and ideally at least 2 weeks ahead of the event
- Use a title for the event that is clear and detailed
- If the event has two parts (for example, on Wake Up The Earth day there usually is the parade and a later stationary set) then make two separate Gig-O events!
- If some or all of the details remain to be ironed out, then state that on Gig-O-- but do not let that delay posting it on Gig-O soon as you can!
- Try to provide some brief information at Gig-O about the organizer’s group or affiliation, and/or the nature of the event our performance will be supporting (for example a link to the organizer’s website, or a flyer for the event)
Important note about Gig-O (to help minimize excess emails for the event going out):
- Every time you edit any aspect of the event, and then save it (OR Gig-O automatically saves it, which occurs frequently), another email will go out to all UNLESS you UNCHECK the “send to all band members” checkbox at the bottom
- A good habit: always uncheck that box first, whenever you begin editing the event—then you can save it as many times as needed without any email being sent. When done editing, if the edits are major enough that to send an email out, go back to the bottom and check the box again then save the event one last time and the email will go out.
Until you know there actually are sufficient musicians committed to coming, tell the organizer that you “will do your best” and “are optimistic we’ll have enough”, but also keep mentioning (to manage their expectations) that it is always possible we won’t have enough players
No later than one week ahead of the date (that is the goal anyway):
- do a tally of the musicians signaling green or red at Gig-O
- if needed, remind folks to go to Gig-O and put their answers in
- if specific people/instruments are especially needed, contact them individually as you think appropriate (usually this is help motivate them to commit)
- make the call, w/r/t confirming or cancelling the event
- clearly communicate the result to the organizer
- clearly communicate the result to the band
Learn from the organizer as much detail as possible about what they want (oftentimes an in-person visit to the venue with them is immensely helpful)
- Listen closely to the organizer’s wishes for the tone and duration of the event, and for how JP Honk will contribute to it, and fit in to it
- Start time, end time
- One continuous set or more than one (i.e. one at start then one at end)
- Weather contingency
- Is the event “rain or shine”? If bad weather will it be canceled? Is there a known rain date?
- Preference for certain songs or types of tunes?
- Location of band when performing
- Any preference w/r/t musicians parading or moving in and amongst the crowd? Would this be desired or OK? For some, all, or none of the event?
- If there is a mobile or parading component of the gig: what are the options for storing cases? Is there a location where they can be stored? Is it secure?
Explain as much of this information as possible on Gig-O, updating it as you learn more
- In particular be very clear about the street address and the parking situation
- Choose a call time that is between 15 and 30 min before the set time
- Smaller, simpler gigs can have call time only 15 min ahead
Setlist: Post on Gig-O at least a few days ahead of the event
- See separate "Suggested Best Practices" on how to prepare a good set list
- If you are too busy (for example, due to being the event coordinator/contact person, …) to put in the needed time on the setlist, be sure to ask bandmate(s) to do it for you
- It’s always a good idea to ask at least one bandmate to look over the setlist and make suggestions on it, before circulating it
Let the organizer bring up the topic of payment to the band for its services
- If they are hesitant, or avoid the subject, do not press
- If they bring it up, then follow through on the conversation in a complete way, ending with an agreement as to the amount they will pay
- Amounts vary so don’t assume anything
- If the organizer stubbornly insists that JP Honk suggests the amount, consult bandmates who have experience with this, to get an idea of what is a reasonable amount
- Explain to the organizer we prefer they pay by check made out to JP Honk if possible, and otherwise cash is accepted
At the event
- When all musicians have arrived (or at least a critical mass) gather everybody in
- Remind them of basic characteristics of gig
- Announce any new or last-minute information or changes